Equipment purchase makes firefighters breathe easier

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Olds town council has approved spending $115,493.55 to replace the Olds Fire Department’s inventory of self-contained breathing apparatuses.

That money covers half of the purchase, with Mountain View County contributing the remaining balance.

A self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) is a device that delivers breathable air to the wearer in cases where atmospheric conditions are Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH).

This purchase will be financed by a 10-year loan applied by Mountain View County to the Alberta Capital Finance Authority.

The fire department’s SCBAs no longer have replacement parts available for sale.

As for the old inventory, Coun. Rudy Durieux, chair of the Olds Fire Committee said they are trying to liquidate it.

“We have talked about offering those BAs to some of the oil companies that need them. That’s also another avenue that we are exploring. It’s not limited to fire departments because there are other industries that could still use them,” Durieux said.

Fire Chief Lorne Thompson explained that breathing apparatuses for firefighters are built to a higher standard than those used in the oilfields so they can still be used.

“But there isn’t a lot of activity going on in that industry. We’re really hoping when the industry picks up, we’ll be able to sell it,” Thompson said.

jho@olds.greatwest.ca

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